Teaching Tips Compound Words

What do bathtub, bullfrog and waterspout have in common? All three of them are compound words-words that are made up of two or more other words. Children learn about compound words early in the school learning process. Here are some easy ideas that will help you teach compound words.

The list

Familiarize yourself with the words that are compound. Check out Enchanted Learning’s list. Click here and you will be taken to a long list of words formed from littler words. It may be the ultimate list of ‘one-word’ compound words.

Word match

Use paint chip cards. Write one half of the word on one stripe and the other half of the word on another stripe. Cut them apart. You can use different colors to make matching them easier or use the same color to increase the challenge. Mix them together and make matches or use them in a matching game. 

Unifix cube compound words

Write compound words on Unifix words. Use a different color for each section of the compound word. Put the words in baggies so the kids can put them together and form the words. Make a sheet with for them to write the words they form on and put it all in a center.

Sing it

Childhood specialist, Dr. Jean, knows that kids love to sing and learn when they do. The Compound Boogie teaches kids how to put words together to get new words. This little video, found here, shows the image of the two separate words. When a new word is formed, a new picture is shown.

Sort it

Buy or make cut-outs in cute shapes, like butterflies or hands. You will need 22 cards. On ten of the cards, write ten different compound words. On the other 10, write words that are not compound words-words like almost, riding or Wednesday. On one of the two remaining cards, write, ‘compound word’ and on the final card, write, ‘not compound word.’ Let the children sort the words into two different sections. You can check it for them or have an answer sheet at the station.

Draw it

Divide a paper into 8 sections. Have each student choose 8 compound words, write each one in a different box and draw a picture of the word. These compound words should be nouns, like snowman, popcorn or baseball.

Computer games

Author, Jan Brett, helps children learn about compound words. Click here. You will be taken to a site where kids can receive instant feedback as they choose the second half of a compound word. The site is good for review.

Learning Games for Kids has a selection of other games to teach compound words. Click here and check it out.

Compound words are easy to teach and even easier to differentiate to address all of the learning needs of your students. Check these out and teach them to your kids today.